Love and Loss: 1900-1914


During the 1890s, Conan Doyle purchased land at Hindhead, where he hoped the clean Hampshire air would help Louise’s health. He built a family home, which he named Undershaw, where the family took up residence in 1900.

Louise and Jean

A new member of the Undershaw household was Jean Leckie, a talented young singer whom Conan Doyle had met and fallen in love with in 1897. Though Conan Doyle remained faithful to his wife, Louise recognised that Jean would one day replace her and accepted her presence in the family home.

Louise died from tuberculosis in 1905, and Conan Doyle married Miss Leckie in 1907. Two years later, their first son, Denis, was born. A brother, Adrian, and sister, Jean, soon followed. During the next few years, thanks to the huge success of his writing, the young family travelled the world, while Doyle also generously helped friends with money needs.

A postcard featuring a photograph of Undershaw house

A postcard featuring a photograph of Undershaw house

Black and white portrait of a woman

A portrait of Conan Doyle’s second wife, Jean Leckie.

A typewritten page

A typewritten page from Conan Doyle’s eldest daughter, Mary regarding her mother Louisa.